Nothing But Green Willow: The Songs Of Mary Sands And Jane Gentry
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The English-born folk song collector, musician and composer, Cecil Sharp, collected songs in Appalachia between 1916-1918 - Among several locations, he collected in Madison County, North Carolina, a remote county right on the Tennessee state line, that had a horrible history of violence in the Civil War and was known to be clannish, remote.
There, Sharp met singers Jane Gentry and Mary Sands. They both contributed a significant and unusually high number of songs to his collection. Gentry contributed eighty and Sands about twenty-five. Their versions are available through Sharp's books. The house where Gentry sang for Sharp is still there ('Sunnybank' in the town of Hot Springs). Some of ballads they contributed are among the best-know ones â€“ 'Pretty Saro,' 'Lord Franklin,' etc. Two women who nobody ever heard sing, unknowingly changed the course of folk music history.
During 2022, Martin Simpson and Thomm Jutz handpicked a selection of the Gentry and Sands songs and arranged them for their two guitars. They then invited six great UK folk singers to each sing one song, recording them here in the UK and six great Appalachian folk singers to record in Nashville.
The album features special guests, from the UK, Cara Dillon, Fay Hield, Seth Lakeman, Angeline Morrison and Emily Portman and from the States, Dale Ann Bradley, Sierra Hull, Justin Moses, Tim O'Brien, Tammy Rogers and Odessa Settles.
Martin Simpson is a world-renowned, multi-award-winning English folk singer, guitarist, banjo player and songwriter based in Sheffield, UK. Thomm Jutz is a German-born American singer, songwriter, producer and guitarist based in Nashville, USA. This album is released on Topic Records, which celebrates its 85th anniversary in 2024.
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